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Potluck Pizza Party!

2013 September 24

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This is America. And, in America, we really love our pizza. 97% of the American public eats pizza. Pizza sales total over $40 billion each year. We consume nearly 255 million pounds of pepperoni every year. Hell, even the greatest cartoon of all time–Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–is centered around pizza. 

So, this is really just my way of saying it should come as no surprise that I love pizza. When I was in Madison, my friends and I had a lot of potlucks. Each potluck tended to have a theme–Indian, Thanksgiving/Harvest, Passover (yay, Jews!), Mexican, and of course…pizza. In fact, our pizza-themed potlucks seemed to be the favored choice among my friends.

The concept was pretty simple: I had pizza stones. I made oodles and oodles of dough. Everyone brought ingredients. And then? Well, then we had a pizza party! Creations ranged from the super-basic margherita to the wildly innovative pizza Genovese, made with pesto, potatoes, and an egg (really) baked on top. They were simply…amazing. At the bottom of this post are a bunch of pizzas we made–they were all delicious!

Click ‘read more’ for the recipe, pizza pics, and ideas for toppings!

 

Pizza Dough (with baking instructions!) 

  • 1 1/4 cups + 2tbsp water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 2 1/4 tsp kosher/course salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached (very important) flour
  1. In a glass bowl, mix the water, yeast, and sugar. Let it stand for about 10 minutes (this is called ‘proofing’ yeast). The mixture should be foamy.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the flour and salt. Mix together. Pour in the wet ingredients and the olive oil. Mix until the dough has formed. Add more flour if too wet/sticky.
  3. Transfer dough to large food container or bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours. I like to let my dough sit in the fridge overnight after the initial rise–I think it helps the flavor mature. You can use it immediately if you want.
  4. Once you’re ready to use the dough, preheat the oven to 500 degrees (F)
  5. Grab some parchment paper and throw on some cornmeal. Roll out the dough onto the parchment paper and add whatever toppings you want (there are tons!).
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes (big range!) until the bottom is totally done and the cheese has nicely browned.

Suggestions for pizzas:

  • Jalapeno, pepperoni, onion, and pepper
  • Garlic, tomato, and basil
  • Chicken, buffalo sauce, cheddar cheese (really)
  • Potato, pesto, onion and egg
  • Sausage (locally-sourced), peppers, and onions
  • Arugula and prosciutto

It’s easy. It’s fun. People will love you for hosting this party. Seriously. Oh, and the results? They’ll have you saying, “COWABUNGA!”

 

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